Goule maturing, wants more
Six-time Jamaica 800 metres champion Natoya Goule has two goals. She wants to win medals and to help Jamaica become a world power in middle distance running. That's the view of her coach, Mark Elliot, who believes that the next cycle of big championships will arrive at the perfect time for Goule.
The former Manchester High School, South Plains Junior College, Louisiana State University (LSU), and Clemson University star stepped forward this year with personal bests indoors and outdoors, and Elliot believes there's more to come from her.
"If you plot the graph on Goule's ascendancies, where she is," analysed the Clemson head coach from his office on July 18, "she never descended. She was just stagnant at the two flat, 1.59 level, but she's one of the most consistent."
The 27-year-old Olympian first broke the two minutes barrier in 2013, and this year in Paris, she cut Kenia Sinclair's national record, one minute 57.88 seconds, to 1.57.69, and further to one minute 56.15 seconds in Monaco on Friday. Elliot, who has coached her since her days at LSU, says that she is maturing just in time for the 2019 World Championships, the 2020 Olympics, and the 2021 World Championships.
"Yes, she took a big step, and that's great," he affirmed, "and it's at the right age, right maturity level, right focus, and we just got to keep that ride going to next season with the World Championships coming up and the Olympics and World Championships."
Her other big goal is to see Jamaica become powerful in the middle distances. "She would love to see 800 metres and up being one of those events that when you talk about it, Jamaica, it's almost like sprints," Elliot revealed.
The vision is that her record run will inspire others.
"It, hopefully, gives some inspirations to younger athletes that are in the high-school system at home and realise, 'Hey, 800 is an event, too, and we can get there," he said, "and there's some of them who have stuck to the 400m who can say, 'Maybe I can jump up and run 1.58', and all of a sudden, you find another world beater in the group, and that's the contribution she wants to make."